Posted tagged ‘Israeli settlements’

Washington Post Peddles Palestinian Propaganda, Part Two

June 7, 2017

Washington Post Peddles Palestinian Propaganda, Part Two, Power LinePaul Mirengoff, June 7, 2017

He then moans that “some [centrists] even admire the settlers — for their can-do spirit and their ability to withstand attacks by Palestinian militants.” Admiring pioneers who withstand attacks by Israel’s sworn enemies? We can’t have that. What kind of Jews are we dealing with here, anyway?

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Last week, the Washington Post dedicated an entire section of the paper to airing Palestinian grievances and talking points. The section was called “Occupied: Year 50.”

This week, the Post was back with more, turning the first five pages of its Sunday “Outlook” over to Dan Ephron so he could whine about Israeli settlements. I don’t recall anyone ever getting five pages in “Outlook” to write, or in this case rant, about anything.

Ephron’s piece is akin to last week’s rant by William Booth and Sufian Taha. Those two went on and on about the difficulties Palestinians face when traveling from the West Bank to Jerusalem, but never mentioned the reason why checkpoints exist — to protect Israel from the chronic acts of terrorism committed by Palestinians.

This week, Ephron goes on and on about how West Bank settlements have been “normalized” in the thinking of Israelis during the past 50 years, with scarcely a mention of the main reason why. In his telling, the expansion and “normalization” of settlements stems from the ability of settlers to influence public opinion and “bend[] the will of Israeli institutions.” But they could never have done so if the Palestinians had displayed a serious desire to trade land for peace. (Ephron doesn’t mention Palestinian intransigence until the last page and the 51st paragraph of his tome, and then does so only in passing).

Abba Eban, the Israeli diplomat who hoped — as many of us did — to see a trade of land for peace, perfectly captured the reason why the trade never occurred. After years of trying to make this deal, he said that the Palestinians “never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”

Ephron professes surprise that, after 50 years, the opportunity may well irrevocably have been missed. As he traveled around the West Bank, Ephron was shocked that life in the settlements seems normal. Why, the town of Ariel has a thriving university, a soccer team that competes with clubs from “inside Israel,” a shopping mall, and (soon) a state-of-the-art hospital. And in Kiryat Arba, Israel’s national theater company staged a play.

It’s as if Ephron expected Israelis to demand that their settlers to leave no footprint — to live in tents and herd sheep for 50 years — while waiting for the Palestinians to give up their designs on conquering Israel.

In real life, time waits for no one — and certainly not for a people bent on destroying their neighbors.

Ephron also expresses amazement that most Israelis have no reverence for, or even clear concept of, the Green Line — the border Israelis abided by until the Arabs tried to conquer them in 1967. But why should they? The border was ridiculous — at its narrowest point from the Mediterranean coast to the demarcation line, Israel is only about nine miles wide — and it has not corresponded to reality on the ground for 50 years.

Here’s what would genuinely be shocking: for anyone to regard conditions that prevailed 50 years ago to be normal today.

Think of the territorial transformation of the United States between, say, 1800 and 1850. Expecting Israelis to remain confined within the Green Line is like expecting early Americans to remain in the 13 states, but with these differences: (1) none of the 13 original states was nine miles wide and (2) by the time of the American Founding, American Indians, to my knowledge, weren’t bent on driving the former colonists into the sea.

Many passages in Ephron’s article suggest that he is either clueless or, more likely, the captive of anti-Israel ideology. He complains that the settlements “with their swimming pools and other amenities are off limits” to Palestinians.

What is it about the self-preservation instinct that Ephron does not understand? And why, if he expects the settlements to be integrated, does he write at length about the need to forcibly relocate settlers — a minimum of 150,000 of them, he says — under any “peace” plan. In his view, large portions of the West Bank must be judenrein (free of Jews), but until then, Jews should swim with people who insist that they be relocated, and who might want to kill them.

Ephron seems concerned that many Israeli “centrists” have bought into the settlers’ “talking point” that the settlements bolster Israel’s security. However, he offers no evidence or argument that this view is incorrect.

He then moans that “some [centrists] even admire the settlers — for their can-do spirit and their ability to withstand attacks by Palestinian militants.” Admiring pioneers who withstand attacks by Israel’s sworn enemies? We can’t have that. What kind of Jews are we dealing with here, anyway?

I’ll conclude my rant on a personal note. I know a young Israeli woman who is not a centrist, but rather a leftist. She fell in love with a young man from a settler family. His family farms outside of the Green Line.

The young woman is among the Israelis who take the Green Line seriously. She has always been anti-settler. Her potential husband’s desire to live and work on the farm was a serious problem for her.

In the end, though, love prevailed. She currently resides on the West Bank. She is what Ephron would call a settler.

What was this woman supposed to do? Was she supposed to reject the love of her life and his family on the theory that they are obstacles to peace? Was she supposed to put off marriage and wait for the Palestinians to give up their aggressive designs and enter into a peace agreement that has been a chimera for 50 years?

The Palestinians have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Fortunately, the young woman, like so many other Israelis, did not miss hers.

Palestinians: Israel’s Goodwill Gestures Send Wrong Messages

June 2, 2017

Palestinians: Israel’s Goodwill Gestures Send Wrong Messages, Gatestone InstituteBassam Tawil, June 2, 2017

Here is what is being said on the Palestinian street: Today Israel runs away from the West Bank or the Gaza Strip; tomorrow Israel will run away from Ashkelon, then from Tel Aviv and from there to the sea, and we have achieved our goal of destroying Israel. Therefore, we need to continue attacking Israel.

As with the Gaza Strip, the withdrawal from Lebanon taught the Palestinians that terrorism could drive Israelis out of their country.

Never have the Palestinians given Israel credit for its goodwill steps. On the contrary, they scoff at these moves and describe them as “cosmetic changes”. The Palestinian line is that Israel’s steps are “insufficient” and “unhelpful.” Its concessions are regarded as gestures of a terrified people and as the rightful reward for terrorism. Far from satiating the appetite of the terrorists, such steps prompt them to step up their attacks against Israelis.

The West suffers under a major misconception concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: that “goodwill gestures” and territorial concessions on the part of Israel boost the prospects of peace in the Middle East. The facts, however, suggest that precisely the opposite is true.

Last week, Israel’s Channel 10 television station reported that the U.S. administration was pushing Israel to transfer parts of Area C — areas under full Israeli security and civilian control in the West Bank — to the control of Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority (PA). According to the report, the U.S. believes that the transfer of the territory to the PA would be a “goodwill step” towards the Palestinians, paving the way for the revival of the stalled peace process with Israel.

This assumption, of course, has already proven wrong. The experiences of the past few decades have shown clearly that Israeli concessions have always sent the wrong message to the Palestinians.

In fact, Palestinians read Israeli goodwill steps as signs of weakness and retreat. This misinterpretation on the part of the Palestinians then leads to more violence against Israel. It would be hard for anyone not to conclude that if pressure works, keep on pressuring.

The past 24 years are littered with examples of how the Palestinians react to Israeli concessions.

The Oslo Accords that were signed between Israel and the PLO in 1993 were seen by Palestinians as a first step by Israel towards total capitulation.

The accords, which brought the PLO from several Arab countries to the West Bank and Gaza Strip, came after five years of the first Palestinian Intifada. By allowing the PLO to assume control over large parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Israel sent a message that it was caving in to the violence and terrorism of the First Intifada.

Barely a breath after Oslo, Israel was again asked to conciliate the Palestinians: this time, hundreds of prisoners, many with Jewish (and Arab) blood on their hands, were released from Israeli prison in order to create an atmosphere “conducive” to the peace process.

Instead of viewing the prisoner release for what it was, namely a generous gesture, many Palestinians considered it a “victory” for terrorism and violence. Worse, it was not long before many of the released prisoners were rearrested for their role in further terrorism against Israel. The release of prisoners also sent a message of recidivism to Palestinians: terror does indeed pay! A short stint in an Israeli prison is sure to lead to release in some Israeli “confidence-building measure” or other.

According to statistics, at least half of released Palestinian prisoners have returned to terrorism.

Despite the grim statistics, the international community regularly demands that Israel release more convicted terrorists as a “gesture” towards Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinians.

RAMALLAH, WEST BANK – OCTOBER 30: Released Palestinian prisoners stand on a sage as they arrive to the Mukata Presidential Compound in the early morning hours on October 30, 2013 in Ramallah, West Bank. The 26 Palestinian prisoners were released by Israel as part of the terms of renewed U.S.-brokered peace talks. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Getty Images)

Since 1993, Israel has complied again and again with such international pressure, only to reinforce the message to Palestinians: terrorism is indeed worth the trouble.

Let us consider, for a moment, Gaza. In 2005, Israel unilaterally withdrew from the Gaza Strip, after destroying 21 Jewish settlements and expelling more than 8,000 Jews from their homes there.

In Palestinian eyes, however, the Israeli “disengagement” from the Gaza Strip was anything but an olive branch of peace. The withdrawal came after five years of the bloody Second Intifada, when Palestinians waged a massive campaign of suicide bombings and rocket attacks against Israelis.

Thus, for Palestinians, Israel was once again retreating in the face of unremitting bloodshed.

Here is what is being said on the Palestinian street: Today Israel runs away from the West Bank or the Gaza Strip, tomorrow Israel will run away from Ashkelon, then from Ashdod and Tel Aviv and from there to the sea, and we have achieved our goal of destroying Israel. Therefore, we need to continue attacking Israel.

Moreover, it was also precisely the Israeli pullout from Gaza that launched Hamas to its current pinnacle of popularity among Palestinians. Hamas took credit for expelling the Jews from the Gaza Strip through terrorism. A few months later, Hamas even won the Palestinian parliamentary election because Palestinians gave Hamas total credit for driving Israel out of the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli pullout told Palestinians in no uncertain terms: Why bother negotiating when terror will do the trick?

Five years earlier, the Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon also had the same effect: it emboldened the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terror group. As with the Gaza Strip, the withdrawal from Lebanon taught the Palestinians that terrorism could drive Israelis out of their country.

In the past few years, additional Israeli goodwill gestures, such as removing security checkpoints and the easing travel restrictions in the West Bank, led to yet more violence, claiming the lives of yet more Israelis.

Abbas and his top officials have always responded to Israeli gestures with cynicism. Never have they given Israel credit for its goodwill steps. On the contrary, they scoff at these moves, and describe them as “cosmetic changes aimed at beautifying Israel’s ugly face” or as public-relations stunts.

For the sake of clarity, let us say it clearly: handing over areas in the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority, and the release of convicted murderers, does not contribute to any sort of “peace process;” it only contributes to the death of more Israelis.

The Palestinian line is that Israel’s steps are “insufficient” and “unhelpful.” Its concessions are regarded as gestures of a terrified people and as the rightful reward for terrorism. Far from satiating the appetite of the terrorists, such steps prompt them to step up their attacks against Israelis. The next time Americans and Europeans think of asking Israel to cede yet more to the Palestinians, let them consider what Israel might be receiving in return, other than the spilling of more Jewish blood.

Bassam Tawil is a Muslim based in the Middle East.

State to approve wave of construction in Judea and Samaria

June 2, 2017

State to approve wave of construction in Judea and Samaria, Israel National News, David Rosenberg, June 2, 2017

Construction in Gush Etzion Flash90

The Civil Administration’s Higher Planning Committee is scheduled to meet next week to approve a series of building projects in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. Combined, the projects include plans for more than 2,600 housing units.

If passed as expected, this would mark the first time the committee has approved housing projects in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria since President Trump took office in January.

The hearings will take place Tuesday and Wednesday, and will cover a number of projects which had been blocked out of political considerations, Channel 2 reported.

The projects include housing outside of the major settlement blocs, in towns such as Kfar Tapuah in central Samaria.

Officials in Jerusalem say the housing projects are not likely to elicit criticism from the White House, noting the open lines of communication between the Prime Minister’s Office and the Trump administration regarding Israeli policy in Judea and Samaria.

The Limits of Israeli Power

June 2, 2017

The Limits of Israeli Power, Front Page MagazineCaroline Glick, June 2, 2017

(As to Jerusalem, please see Turkish takeover in Jerusalem. — DM)

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

Washington and the rest of the governments of the world know that their refusal to recognize Israel’s capital does not endanger Israel or its control of Jerusalem. They are free to bow to Arab pressure, safe in the knowledge that Israel will continue to protect the unified city.

The time has come, at the outset of the second 50 years of Israeli control over Judea and Samaria, for Israel to take matters into its own hands. Our leaders must stop beating around the bush. They need to use the powers they have to secure Israel’s military and civilian interests in Judea and Samaria for the next 50 years as best they can. And they need to stop waiting for someone else to solve our problems for us.

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On Thursday, US President Donald Trump bowed to the foreign policy establishment and betrayed his voters. He signed a presidential waiver postponing the transfer of the US Embassy to Jerusalem for yet another six months.

Ahead of Trump’s move, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a last-ditch bid to convince Trump to move the embassy to Jerusalem. But it was not to be.

Israel’s failure to convince Trump to do what he repeatedly promised US voters he would do during his presidential campaign shows the disparity in power between Israel and the US.

Israel lacks the power to convince foreign nations to recognize its capital – much less to locate their embassies there. The US, on the other hand, not only has the power to recognize Jerusalem and transfer its embassy to Israel’s capital whenever it wishes to do so, it also has the ability to convince dozens of other countries to immediately follow its lead.

The disparity between what the Americans can do and what Israel can do was on display on Monday evening in a glittering hall at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. There, Bar-Ilan University conferred its Guardian of Zion award on former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton. In his acceptance speech, Bolton presented his vision for the resolution of the Palestinian conflict with Israel.

Bolton’s views are important not merely because his past work at the State Department and the UN brought the US some of its only diplomatic victories in recent decades. His views are important as well because of his close relationship with Trump.

Bolton began his discussion Monday evening by rejecting the “two-state solution.” The two-state model, he noted, has been tried and has failed repeatedly for the past 70 years. There is no reason to believe that it will succeed now. This is particularly true, he said, given the lack of Palestinian social cohesion.

Hamas controls Gaza. The PLO, which is supposed to be Israel’s peace partner, barely controls parts of Judea and Samaria. At a time when more cohesive Arab societies are unraveling, the notion that a Palestinian state would survive and advance regional peace and stability is laughable, Bolton argued.

Bolton then turned to his preferred policy for resolving the Palestinian conflict with Israel, which he dubbed “the three-state solution.” Under his plan, Egypt and Jordan would work with Israel to solve the Palestinian conflict. Egypt would take over the Gaza Strip and Jordan would negotiate the status of Judea and Samaria with Israel.

The crowd at the King David responded enthusiastically to Bolton’s proposal. This is not surprising.

Since 1967, Israelis have hoped for Jordan and Egypt to work with them to solve the problem of the Arabs of Judea, Samaria and Gaza who lived under Jordanian and Egyptian occupation from 1949-1967.

Unfortunately, Israel’s support for Bolton’s plan is irrelevant. Israel is powerless to advance it. Israel cannot convince Arab nations to help it resolve the Palestinian conflict any more than it can convince the PLO to cut a peace deal with it.

Like PLO leaders, the leaders of the Arab world know that they cannot help Israel with the Palestinians.

Doing so would involve disowning the Palestinian narrative.

The Palestinian narrative claims that the Jews of Israel are colonialist interlopers who stole the land from the Palestinians, its rightful owners. The narrative makes no distinction between Tel Aviv and Hebron. All of Israel is a crime against the Arab world. All of Israel is illegitimate.

The overwhelming majority of the Arab world believes the Palestinian narrative. For an Arab leader to walk away from it or even to signal an attenuation of his fealty to it in the interest of regional peace would be the riskiest of moves.

Israel has nothing to offer Arab leaders that could induce them to take that risk.

Although it is far from certain, the US may very well have the ability to convince Arab leaders to do so. If Trump decided that this is the way to advance peace in the Arab world, chances are he would make some headway. In other words, Bolton’s three-state plan is a plan that only America can adopt. It cannot be an Israeli plan no matter how enthusiastically the public supports involving Jordan and Egypt in solving the conflict.

Given Israel’s inability to offer the Arabs anything valuable enough for Arab leaders to risk life and limb to accept in exchange for helping to solve the Palestinian conflict, as Israel considers its own options in relation to the Palestinians, it needs to limit its goals to things that it can achieve without them. In other words, the only steps that Israel can take in relation to the Palestinians are unilateral steps.

For the past 50 years, hoping that the Arabs – and since 1993, the PLO – would finally make peace with it and so settle the permanent status of Judea and Samaria, Israel refused to take any unilateral actions in relation to its permanent interests in Judea and Samaria. Rather than apply its legal code to Judea and Samaria, it opted for the stop-gap measure of installing a military government to run the areas on the basis of Jordanian law.

Between 1994 and 1996, Israel canceled the military government in the Palestinian population centers in Judea and Samaria and Gaza. In 2005, when it withdrew, it canceled the residual military government in the rest of Gaza. Since then, the only area that remains under the Israeli military government is Area C in Judea and Samaria. Area C includes all of the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria, and strategically critical areas including the Jordan Valley, the Samaria mountain range and the south Hebron Hills.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Netanyahu gave an interview with Army Radio where he set out part of his vision for the permanent status of Judea and Samaria. He limited his statement to the military status of the areas. He said that under any possible future scenario, Israel must retain full security control of the areas. This, he said, is the lesson of Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

That pullout led to the transformation of Gaza into a Hamas-controlled hub of global jihad. Moreover, under Hamas, the Palestinians turned Gaza into one big, densely populated missile-launching pad against Israel.

While justified, Netanyahu’s position obscures more than it illuminates about his long-term vision for Judea and Samaria.

What does he mean by security control? Would the IDF remain in sole control over Israel’s eastern boundaries or would it serve as an overall coordinator of foreign forces operating along the border? Would IDF forces be confined to fortified positions while the Palestinians reign free in the open areas, as was the case in southern Lebanon in the years leading up to Israel’s disastrous withdrawal in 2000? Or would the IDF have freedom of action and maintain the initiative throughout Judea and Samaria? Moreover, does Netanyahu envision the IDF remaining the only military organization operating in Judea and Samaria in the long term? Beyond the security issues that require clarification, Netanyahu’s statements make no mention of the rights of Jews to live in Judea and Samaria.

Does he believe that Jews should be permitted to live permanently in the areas that Israel controls? If so, why are they subjected to the Jordanian legal code used by the military government and which proscribes their right to purchase land and register land sales? This brings us to the issue of governance. What does Netanyahu think about the military government in Area C? Does he believe that the 50-year reign of generals should continue until the Arabs choose to resolve the Palestinian conflict with Israel? What if this means that the generals will continue to rule over hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens for another 50 or 100 or 150 years? Does he, on the other hand, prefer to transfer governance responsibility in Area C to the Palestinians and place the nearly 500,000 Israelis in the area under Palestinian control? In the course of his remarks, Bolton noted that if Jordan is responsible for the Palestinians of Judea and Samaria, the issue of Jerusalem will be removed from the equation. After all, if their capital is Amman, Israel has no reason to divide its capital city.

And this brings us back to Jerusalem, which Trump spurned on Thursday.

As is the case today, 50 years ago, Israel had no power to influence the positions of foreign governments regarding its capital city. But in contrast to its decision to establish a military government in Judea and Samaria, Israel didn’t wait for foreigners to give it permission to act where it had the power to act in order to change the status of the city and ensure its ability to govern and control its capital for generations to come.

In 1967, the government voted to expand the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem to include the eastern, northern and southern quarters that had been under Jordanian occupation since 1949.

Everyone benefited from the move – including the foreign powers that still refuse to recognize the simple fact that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.

Washington and the rest of the governments of the world know that their refusal to recognize Israel’s capital does not endanger Israel or its control of Jerusalem. They are free to bow to Arab pressure, safe in the knowledge that Israel will continue to protect the unified city.

Trump’s decision to sign the waiver delaying the embassy move is a betrayal of his campaign promise, but it doesn’t change the situation in Jerusalem. Last week, Israel celebrated 50 years of sovereignty over its united capital. Jerusalem will be neither more nor less united if and when the US moves its embassy to the capital.

Perhaps Trump will eventually keep his word and move the embassy. Perhaps he will continue to breach his promise. And as far as the Palestinians are concerned, perhaps Trump adopts Bolton’s three-state plan in relation to Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Perhaps he will maintain his predecessors’ slavish devotion to the establishment of a PLO state.

Israel can’t control what Trump will do any more than it can influence what the Arabs will do. And so it needs to take a lesson not only from its bitter experience of withdrawing from Gaza, but from its positive experience of taking matters into its own hands in Jerusalem.

The time has come, at the outset of the second 50 years of Israeli control over Judea and Samaria, for Israel to take matters into its own hands. Our leaders must stop beating around the bush. They need to use the powers they have to secure Israel’s military and civilian interests in Judea and Samaria for the next 50 years as best they can. And they need to stop waiting for someone else to solve our problems for us.

Palestinians: The Threats Trump Needs to Hear

May 16, 2017

Palestinians: The Threats Trump Needs to Hear, Gatestone Institute, Bassam Tawil, May 16, 2016

(With all due respect to the author, in the unlikely event that President Trump is not already aware of most of the matters about which he “needs to hear,” Ambassador Friedman, PM Netanyahu et al, are and will enlighten him. Abbas’ Palestinian Authority is hardly a “partner for peace” and Hamas — which is very likely to displace the PA, is even less so. Surely, President Trump knows that; he is many things, but retarded is not among them. — DM)

The warning by Hamas and Islamic Jihad is directed not only against Trump and his new administration, but also against Abbas and any Arab leader who dares to “collude” with the U.S.

A new policy document recently published by Hamas says that the Islamic terror movement accepts a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, but without recognizing Israel’s right to exist. Translation: Hamas seeks a Palestinian state that would be used as a launching pad to destroy Israel.

The electoral showing demonstrates with excruciating clarity that Hamas could easily take over any Palestinian state that the U.S. and the Europeans help create in the West Bank.

Abbas is a weak leader with precious little legitimacy among Palestinians. He would never survive any kind of real peace deal with Israel — a reality that, ironically, he has done his very best to create.

As U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to hold his second meeting with Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem next week, two Palestinian terror groups have announced that the new U.S. administration is planning to “liquidate the Palestinian cause.” The warning by Hamas and Islamic Jihad is directed not only against Trump and his new administration, but also against Abbas and any Arab leader who dares to “collude” with the U.S.

The two Palestinian terror groups, which control the Gaza Strip and its two million residents, also renewed their pledge to pursue the armed fight against Israel; they said they would not give up one inch of Palestine, from the (Mediterranean) sea to the (Jordan) river.

Trump and his administration would do well to heed the warning issued by Hamas and Islamic Jihad, especially in the wake of Abbas’s recent statements concerning a two-state solution and peace with Israel. Abbas controls only parts of the West Bank, and how he intends to establish a Palestinian state when he cannot even set foot in the Gaza Strip is anyone’s guess. Recently, Hamas announced that if and when the 82-year-old Abbas shows up in the Gaza Strip, he will be hanged in a public square on charges of “high treason.”

The warning by the Palestinian terror groups was made during a joint rally in the Gaza Strip on May 14. Leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad vowed to “preserve the Palestinian rifle and Palestinian rights in the face of any schemes and attempts to liquidate the Palestinian cause.”

Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar stated that Palestinian “principles are part of our [Islamic] religion, and we cannot make any concessions on them. We will not give up one inch of our land and holy sites. We will continue to work until the liberation of each inch of Palestine.”

Zahar also warned Abbas against signing any agreement with Israel that includes relinquishing Palestinian rights. “Anyone who gives up our rights and holy sites will betray Allah and his Prophet Mohammed,” Zahar cautioned.

Notably, Zahar’s statement to “liberate every inch of Palestine” comes amid false claims in the Western media to the effect that Hamas has abandoned its dream of eliminating Israel.

The claims are based on a new policy document recently published by Hamas; it says that the Islamic terror movement accepts a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, but without recognizing Israel’s right to exist. Translation: Hamas seeks a Palestinian state that would be used as a launching pad to destroy Israel.

Zahar and other Hamas leaders have taken advantage of every available platform to clarify that their acceptance of a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines does not mean abandoning their plan to eliminate Israel.

They have also explained, at length, that the new policy document does not replace Hamas’s original charter, which explicitly calls for the destruction of Israel.

Hamas’s honesty with respect to its true intentions stands in utter contrast to the deceit with which the policy document is being treated by others.

For instance, some Western media outlets and Palestinian affairs “experts” and “analysts” deceptively describe the document as a sign of moderation and pragmatism on the part of Hamas.

While Hamas leaders proudly proclaim that there is no real change in their ideology and charter, some Westerners seem to have a sort of hearing disability when it comes to the truth of the terror movement.

Another Hamas leader, Ahmed Bahr, said at the rally that his movement remains strongly opposed to security coordination between Abbas’s Palestinian Authority and Israel in the West Bank.

Bahr described the security coordination and the crackdown on Hamas supporters in the West Bank as a new Palestinian “Nakba” (Catastrophe) — the term used by Palestinians and Arabs to describe the establishment of Israel in 1948.

Referring to Trump’s upcoming visit to Jerusalem and Bethlehem, and reports that the U.S. administration was seeking to revive stalled peace talks between the PA and Israel, the top Hamas official said that Palestinians remain committed to the “resistance to liberate Palestine despite the conspiracies that are being concocted against them.”

For Hamas and its allies, Trump’s peace efforts are nothing less than a plot designed to force Palestinians to make unacceptable concessions to Israel. They will accept nothing but the elimination of Israel and its replacement with an Islamic state governed by Islamic sharia law.

Islamic Jihad leaders, for their part, said that Trump’s upcoming visit to the Middle East was aimed at “forming a new alliance to preserve” Israel’s interests. They believe that the purported alliance will consist of Israel, Abbas’s PA and some Arab countries.

In the view of Islamic Jihad leader Mohammed al-Hindi, the Trump-engineered alliance would “create a new Nakba” for the Palestinians. “Palestine is the land of all Palestinians and part of our history,” he declared. He too warned Abbas against any agreement that includes concessions to Israel.

Ignoring such threats issued by Palestinian terror groups is done only at one’s extreme peril. These are not marginal factions with a limited following among Palestinians. Rather, the ideology of Hamas and Islamic Jihad is widespread among the Palestinians and lives in the hearts and minds of many of them. These terror groups are popular not only in the Gaza Strip, but also among large sectors of Palestinians in the West Bank.

Just last week we received yet another reminder of Hamas’s increased popularity in the West Bank when its supporters won — for the third straight year — the student council elections at Bir Zeit University near Ramallah. Hamas’s victory in the university election has once again left Abbas and his loyalists bewildered.

The electoral showing is anything but confusing: it demonstrates with excruciating clarity that Hamas could easily take over any Palestinian state that the U.S. and the Europeans help create in the West Bank.

No one is more aware of this than Abbas — in a situation that accounts for why he has spent the past decade blocking parliamentary and presidential elections. Above all, Abbas wishes to avoid his mistake of 2006, when Hamas won the parliamentary election.

For a start, Trump might ask Abbas precisely how he plans to cope with the threats by Hamas and Islamic Jihad and other Palestinian groups to destroy Israel and thwart any “treacherous” peace agreement with Israel. Under the current circumstances, when Palestinians are radicalized against Israel on a daily basis and Hamas’s popularity is skyrocketing, the talk about a two-state solution and peace sounds downright delusional.

Abbas is a weak leader with precious little legitimacy among Palestinians. He would never survive any kind of real peace deal with Israel — a reality that, ironically, he has done his very best to create.

Trump and his advisors might put aside the sweet talk of Abbas and his spokesmen, and listen instead for the unsettling truths voiced by other Palestinians such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Alternatively, the West can continue to fantasize about a new Middle East in which Arabs and Muslims accept Israel’s right to exist — while in reality many of them are totally consumed by their attempts to raze it to the ground.

At his scheduled meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem next week, U.S. President Donald Trump might put aside the sweet talk of Abbas, and listen instead for the unsettling truths voiced by other Palestinians such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Pictured: Trump and Abbas give a joint statement on May 3, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Image source: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

 

Palestinian Daily ‘Al-Ayyam’ Reports On ‘Abbas’s White House Visit

May 8, 2017

Palestinian Daily ‘Al-Ayyam’ Reports On ‘Abbas’s White House Visit, MEMRI, May 8, 2017

(Consider the source. Abbas will get what he seeks when he teaches pigs to fly. Whoops. Pigs are haram. Please note the absence of any reference to Palestinian incitement of children and others to commit acts of terror and payment of Palestinian “heroes” in Israeli jails — both of which President Trump has insisted cease. Perhaps more important, were the Palestinian Authority to have elections, Hamas would likely win. The excerpts from the article do not mention Hamas– DM)

On May 7, 2017, the Palestinian daily Al-Ayyam published a detailed article on Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud ‘Abbas’s May 3 visit in Washington, titled “The Secrets and Details of President [‘Abbas’s] Visit and Talks in the U.S. Capital.” The article, by the daily’s U.S. correspondent ‘Abd Al-Rauf Arnaut, described ‘Abbas’s meetings with American officials as relaxed, and the hosts’ reception of ‘Abbas and his delegation as warm and respectful.

The article presented lengthy quotes from ‘Abbas himself about his meeting with Trump. According to ‘Abbas, he clarified to Trump that the Arabs oppose terrorism, no matter its type or its source, and that the Palestinians support a two-state solution rather than a two-state solution. He presented the Arab peace initiative as a basis for peace between Israel and the entire Arab world following an Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian territories, and focused on the need to find a creative solution for the refugee problem based on UN Resolution 194,[1] stressing that otherwise it would not be possible to end the conflict. ‘Abbas also presented Trump with maps showing the history of Palestine from 1937, in order to demonstrate the steady contraction of the territories intended for the Palestinians and the vital need to halt construction in the settlements.

The following are excerpts from the article:[2]

“This wasn’t President ‘Abbas’s first visit to the White House, but it was different in its details from all the previous visits. After Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election, Arab officials and analysts hurried to say that the Palestinians had become “irrelevant”, but within 100 days [of the election], the relations and the chemistry between the Palestinian and U.S. presidents developed to a point that [proved them to be] shamefully wrong.

“President Trump and his team were unfamiliar to the Palestinians, since, unlike previous [U.S.] presidents, such as George Bush Jr. and Barack Obama, they did not emerge from the American [political] establishment. In contrast to some leaders of Palestinian factions who criticized the new U.S. president based on Israeli statements, President ‘Abbas opted for a quiet diplomacy whose results became evident later, during his visit to the White House, which he has characterized as successful.

“After talking a great deal about the cold shoulder turned to ‘Abbas by the new inhabitant of the White House, and the implications [of this attitude], analysts found themselves faced with a sight that even many Palestinian officials had not imagined they would see. [Thanks to preparatory] measures and arrangements that preceded the meeting at the White House, a new bond was formed that is bound to become [even] clearer during Trump’s visit to Bethlehem on May 23, 2017.

“President ‘Abbas said: “The visit was preceded by several [preparatory measures]. About six weeks ago, after Trump entered the White House, the head of the Palestinian intelligence service, Maj. Gen. Majid Faraj, was invited to Washington for a meeting with his American counterpart, and he indeed came there and met with many U.S. political and military officials. [Gen. Faraj] returned with a lot of information, indicating that a new era had dawned in Washington and that we could expect new developments because there was a new [president] in that country who might present fresh ideas regarding the Palestinian issue. We were very pleased with this [preliminary] meeting.

“In a closed meeting with Arab ambassadors to Washington, [‘Abbas] said: “Immediately after that, shortly after the appointment of Mike Pompeo as Director of the CIA [on January 23, 2017], we were told he would come for a visit [in the PA] and he indeed came to Ramallah and we held lengthy meetings with him. He is an experienced man, for he was a member of Congress, so our cause was not unfamiliar to him, although we may have had to fill him in on some of the details. At the end of the meeting, he said: ‘I will now go [straight] to the airport and [fly to] Washington, for I want to present the minutes of this meeting to President Trump, who has a meeting scheduled tonight with Binyamin Netanyahu.’

“The CIA director was the first [U.S. official] to meet with the [Palestinian] president… and even though certain elements tried to claim that the contacts between the Palestinians and Americans were [confined to] the security level, these contacts continued on the diplomatic level [as well].

“President [‘Abbas] said: ‘The second step came one week later, when President Trump called me. This was the first time he called [me. He] greeted me and then invited me to the White House, saying, ‘I’ve heard all sorts of things about you, but I want to hear more from you, because I want to find a solution to the [Palestinian-Israeli] conflict. He repeated his invitation several times, and then told me that he had a great deal of confidence in several of his aides, including Jason Greenblatt,[3] and that he would soon send [Greenblatt] to us so we could talk with him.’

“The [next] step was [indeed] a meeting between United States Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt and President ‘Abbas in Ramallah. President ‘Abbas said: ‘Greenblatt arrived and I had a lengthy and comprehensive meeting with him, because I assumed he needed to learn the details. I [recounted all the developments] from Oslo until today, step by step, and described the entire Palestinian issue in full. Then I tried to answer all the questions I figured he might have, and when I was done he indeed said, “I have nothing left to ask, this was a useful meeting.”‘

“The [next] step was a meeting between Greenblatt and President [‘Abbas] on the Jordanian shore of the Dead Sea, at the periphery of the Arab League summit. President ‘Abbas said: ‘Greenblatt returned to Washington and then came back to [visit] us during the Arab League summit in Jordan, where he met with many Arab foreign ministers.’

“Concurrently, preparations for the [Trump-‘Abbas] summit were also made during the visit to Washington of a [Palestinian] delegation that included Dr. Saeb Erekat, the head of the Palestinian intelligence service and PLO Executive Committee secretary-general Maj. Gen. Majid Faraj, and Dr. Muhammad Mustafa, President [‘Abbas’s] economic advisor. Preparations were also made at the level of the leaders of Palestine, Jordan and Egypt, all three of whom had been invited to the White House. President ‘Abbas said: “We had been invited [to Washington] and we prepared for the visit, but [even] before this, at the Arab [League] summit which was [dedicated to the issue of] Palestine, Jordan’s King ‘Abdallah II initiated a three-way meeting with Egyptian President ‘Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sisi and myself so we would go to Washington with a single unified message. King [‘Abdallah] and President [Al-Sisi] had been invited [to Washington], but the date of my own visit had not yet been set. So the three of us met and discussed in detail the message we would present to Washington.’ He added: ‘King ‘Abdallah and President Al-Sisi [later] informed us about what had transpired [during their meetings] in Washington. They conveyed the same message, and that helped us a lot. Then it was decided that I would come here, to Washington, and I arrived, held some side meetings and then we went to the White House.'”

The Meeting With Jared Kushner

“Upon President ‘Abbas’s arrival in Washington, more meetings were held between the Palestinians and Americans. Far from the media, a first meeting took place between President ‘Abbas and Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Kushner left a very positive impression on ‘Abbas, [who called him] ‘a polite man who wanted to gain a good understanding of the situation [and who] asked very polite questions about all the topics he wished to understand.’ This meeting was held on the eve of the president’s arrival at the White House.

“Up until the meeting at the White House, Palestinian officials differed in their assessments. Some expected a smooth and easy meeting while others were afraid of last-minute surprises.”

The Meeting With Trump

“The meeting went as Palestinian officials hoped it would, and was very positive, as was clearly evident from President [‘Abbas’s] reception at the White House.

“President [‘Abbas] naturally slept that night, after the long flight and because of the time-difference. The next morning he was cheerful as he prepared for his first visit to the White House during the Trump presidency. When he arrived, Trump met him at the door and accompanied him as he went to sign the guestbook. Then the two went into the Oval Office, and there, in the presence of the media, Trump greeted President ‘Abbas and shook his hand multiple times. Then they visited President Roosevelt’s historic office at the White House, where each delivered a statement, before shaking hands once again and turning to the Cabinet Room, where the U.S. cabinet holds its meetings.

“In the Cabinet Room, U.S. State Secretary Rex Tillerson sat to the left of the U.S. President and Vice President Mike Pence sat to his right. Also present at the meeting were U.S. National Security Advisor Gen. McMaster as well as Kushner, Greenblatt, the White House Chief of Staff, and U.S. Consul General [in Jerusalem] Donald Blome. Apart from ‘Abbas, the Palestinians present included Dr. Saeb Erekat, Gen. Majid Faraj, Dr. [Muhammad] Mustafa, Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Abu ‘Amr, ‘Abbas’s advisors Nabil Abu Rudeineh and Majdi Al-Khalidi, and Palestinian ambassador to Washington Husam Zomlot.”

‘Abbas: This Is What Happened At The White House

“As for the details of the visit, ‘Abbas said: ‘After signing the guestbook and delivering our statements to the press, [Trump and I] sat down together and I made every effort to present our wishes and our ideas [to him]. I told him explicitly: We, the united Arab nation, all oppose terror and combat terror, of every type and from every source. [Terror] is alien to us as a nation, alien to our culture, and that is why we stand up against it. Secondly, as for the political situation, we Palestinians believe in the solution of two states, namely Israel, which already exists, and a Palestinian state that we want to establish in the 1967 borders, whose capital is East Jerusalem. I told [Trump], if someone gets it into his head to speak about a one-state [solution, you should know that] we opt for the two-state [solution]. But if someone [nevertheless] mentions the one-state [solution, you should know that] there are two options. [The first option] is a racist discriminatory state, in which there are two regimes, [one for Palestinians and another for Jews], as is the case today in the Palestinian territories. Obviously, we will never agree to this and nobody in the world will agree to it. [The second option] is a binational state. I believe that they [the Israelis] reject this [option] out of hand, and I have [in fact] heard this from [them] on more than one occasion. So we are left with the solution of two states: a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders, and Israel. We want a state in those borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital’…

“‘Abbas then turned to explain the Arab peace initiative, using a one-page document prepared by the Palestinian president’s office, which included the details of the plan and the flags of the Arab countries that had approved it. President [‘Abbas] said: ‘I told Trump: We have the Arab initiative that was adopted at the 2002 Arab [League] summit in Beirut, which, in my opinion, is the most valuable initiative ever achieved for resolving the Palestinian problem. [The plan] is neither long nor complicated. It includes two main clauses.’ President [‘Abbas] explained to President [Trump] that the first clause says that if Israel withdraws from the Palestinian and Arab territories, all the Arab countries will be willing to form [diplomatic] ties with it, and that this initiative has been approved by more than one Arab capital and at many Arab and Muslim summits, for example in Istanbul, Iran and Pakistan…’ President ‘Abbas explained to the U.S. President that the flags on the document represented the countries that have approved the Arab peace initiative and have expressed willingness to recognize Israel if the latter withdraws from the occupied Arab and Palestinian territories.

“[‘Abbas also] explained to Trump that the [Arab] initiative proposed a just and agreed-upon solution to the refugee problem based on [UN Resolution] 194. The problem needs to be solved in a creative way based on the UN resolutions, [he said]. It must be resolved in order to resolve the conflict… We insist on this solution [to the refugee problem] because do not want only a peace treaty between ourselves and Israel, we want to end the conflict between ourselves and the Israelis. If the refugee problem remains unresolved, the conflict will remain as well.’

Historical Map Of Palestine

“President ‘Abbas then presented the U.S. President with a map showing Palestine from 1937 until today, to demonstrate how the Israeli occupation is eating away at the Palestinian territories. He said: ‘The maps explain the Palestinian problem… starting with the map of historical Palestine, through the first partition plan of 1937, the second [partition plan] of 1947, and then 1948. What [territory] is left to us? In the end [we have only] what the Israelis have left the Palestinians [after] building their settlements in the Palestinian territories.’ ‘Abbas said, ‘If construction in the settlements continues… how will we be able to establish a Palestinian state? That is why we oppose the settlements and regard them as illegitimate. This should be the basis for handling them at the [negotiation] table.’

“This explanation took up about 15-20 minutes of the face-to-face meeting between the two presidents. Then the two went to the Cabinet Room, where the American and Palestinian teams joined them. In the Cabinet Room, the Palestinian officials spoke, each about his area [of expertise], and explained the Palestinian position on each issue.

“President ‘Abbas said: ‘To sum up, we felt that the man [Trump] was serious and is eager to find a solution soon. Indeed, we hope that this is the case. I told him that we are prepared to send a delegation to the U.S. immediately in order to start negotiations, as they see fit.’ He added: These are our basic [principles], these are our positions, and we are demanding no more than the [implementation of the] U.N. resolutions. I felt that President Trump is very willing to proceed, and I am very pleased about that. I am not saying that he agreed with me, but at least he listened to me with great interest and in a positive manner. I hope he was convinced [by me], but this takes time, and I think that he should know further details.’

Outstanding Reception

“The observers were unanimous that President ‘Abbas received an unusually [warm] welcome in the White House. The Palestinian flag was prominently displayed in many places, especially in the historic Roosevelt Room, where it was stood behind the U.S. President as he gave his address. Several hours after the meeting, dozens of top U.S. officials and intellectuals in Washington, including the President’s harshest critics and representatives of organizations such as AIPAC, hurried to a large hall in the Mandarin Hotel in order to congratulate President ‘Abbas on the successful meeting. Many made sure to have their photo taken with him. The next day, there was another American surprise, when the White House announced that President Trump had accepted the invitation to visit the Palestinian territories. President ‘Abbas said that he was pleased about this visit and hoped that it would lead to something new.”

_______________________

[1] It should be noted that the Palestinians and the Arab states, unlike Israel, hold that this resolution recognizes the refugees’ right to return to their homes and also to receive compensation. It should be noted that the issue of the refugees’ return or compensation was not mentioned in the original Saudi peace initiative, but was added later under pressure from Syria and Lebanon in what became the “Arab peace initiative.” See “The Warped Saudi Initiative” by Itamar Rabinovich, Haaretz (Israel), April 4, 2002. For the article in English, see Haaretz.com, April 7, 2002.

[2] Al-Ayyam (PA), May 7, 2017.

[3] A Jewish-American lawyer who served as executive vice president and chief legal officer to Donald Trump and the Trump Organization, and as advisor on Israel during his presidential campaign. In January 2017 Trump appointed him United States Special Representative for International Negotiations.

Mainstream Media Distorts Reality on Israeli Settlements

April 4, 2017

Mainstream Media Distorts Reality on Israeli Settlements, Front Page MagazineGideon Israel, April 4, 2017

Reprinted from en.mida.org.il.

Yesterday, Israel’s government approved construction of a new settlement in Judea and Samaria (aka West Bank).  Media outlets CNN, BBC and the NY Times wasted no time publishing stories that distort the truth, if not outright lie.  These mistakes range from offering a false impression of reality to actually getting facts wrong. Such elementary mistakes expose the disconnect between mainstream media outlets and basic truths of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

For example, CNN wrote that this is Israel’s ‘first new settlement in Palestinian territory in more than 20 years’. The first part of the sentence is misleading and the second part is false.  Israel has not built new communities in Judea and Samaria because it has given numerous chances for the Palestinian leadership to come to the table and reach an agreement. However, the Palestinians continually refused.  Instead, the article leads the reader to believe that this is a new policy meant to stifle any chance for a peace agreement.

The second part of the statement asserts that Israel is building in Palestinian territory. This is because CNN incorrectly believes that Israel has no legal rights to the West Bank. Israel’s legal rights to controlling the West Bank and building communities there under international law have been affirmed  time and again by respected authorities on the subject, including: Professor Eugene Rostow, Professor Julius Stone , Professor Eugene Kontorovich, Professor Avi Bell and more.

BBC wrote that this new settlement is being built after ‘the largest settlement, Amona, was evacuated by police last month.’  Amona, far from being the largest settlement, was probably one of the smallest settlements existing in the West Bank, approximately 40 families. Yet, this gives the impression that even the largest settlement in the West Bank was evacuated, and thus why not evacuate the entire West Bank.

And the New York Times topped it off by cherry picking statements to make it look as if Israel was disrespecting the Trump Administration.  Author of the article, Isabel Kershner, who has been accused of anti-Israel bias in the past, writes that Israel is building settlements despite President Trump’s request ‘to hold off on settlement activity’. Then she writes that ‘the United States has long considered the settlements an obstacle to peace.’ Those two statements are mixing apples with oranges.

The Trump Administration, while suggesting that Israel hold off on settlements for a little bit, explicitly said in a press release that they ‘don’t believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace’. This was a clear departure from past US policy, especially under the Obama Administration, yet Kershner ignores that, and prefers to think that Barack Obama is still president.

Kershner also ponders whether Netanyahu’s announcement was potentially a ‘provocative move to scuttle any prospect of a revival of peace talks’. She blatantly disregards the past eight years where Mahmoud Abbas refused to negotiate with the Israelis, and the past 25 years where Palestinian leaders have continually refused all peace deals offered to them. Even more, Kershner ignores the fact that building a new settlement was promised to the residents of Amona before the settlement was evacuated. She should know this, she lives in Israel.

Since the mainstream media continues its anti-Israel bias, here are some important facts to know about the settlements.

  • Jordan illegally occupied the West Bank in 1948, a move strongly condemned by both the Russian and US Ambassadors to the U.N at the time.  Besides for Great Britain and India, no other country recognized Jordan’s rights to the territory.  Thus, when Israel conquered the West Bank in 1967 after Jordan decided to attack Israel at the behest of other Arab leaders, Israel was merely reclaiming the territory that had been granted to them under the British Mandate prior to 1948.
  • Under the Mandate for Palestine, Article 25, it is clear that the eastern border of the future Jewish state would be the Jordan river, many years prior to the imaginary ‘green line’ which has no legal status.
  • The majority of the communities in the West Bank were built on government property, and in the few cases where a mistake was made and a settlement was established on private property, the Israeli government worked to ameliorate the situation by either offering compensation to the owner of the land, or in the extreme case of Amona, the settlement was dismantled.
  • According to statistics from January, 2017, there are approximately 421,000 Israelis living in Judea and Samaria. While many envision the makeup of the population as religious extremists, in reality, the population is made up of 1/3 religious Zionists, 1/3 secular Israelis, 1/3 ultra orthodox Jews.
  • Israel has approximately 150 ‘settlements’ in the West Bank ranging from 100 people to around 70,000 people.  The term ‘settlements’ actually distorts reality as one imagines three tents on a hilltop. In reality, similar to any other country in the world,  Israeli citizens residing in Judea and Samaria live in areas that could be defined as villages, towns, boroughs and cities. For example, Maale Adumim, called a ‘settlement’ by the media and Arab countries, has a population of approximately 42,000 people, comparable to the populations of Atlantic City and Fort Lee located in NJ, and both would not be mistaken for a settlement.  Modiin Illit, with a population exceeding 65,000, is comparable to the population of Palo Alto, California.  Givaat Zeev, with a population exceeding 25,000, is slightly less than the population of Monterey, California, which would never be mistaken for a ‘settlement’ or an ‘outpost’.
  • The reasons for living in Judea and Samaria are varied. Some live there because of ideological reasons, others live there for the countryside atmosphere it provides, and some live there because housing is inexpensive and in close proximity to major cities such as Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. For example, more than 150,000 residents living in Judea are within a 15 minute drive of Jerusalem.  Just as some people choose to live in Hoboken, NJ, so they can be close to NY without paying Manhattan prices, the same applies for Israelis to living in Judea and Samaria.
  • Judea and Samaria is home to one of Israel’s eight universities – Ariel University. There are approximately 15,000 students (Jewish and Arab) that attend the University, comparable to the size of Duke University in North Carolina.
  • There are approximately 11,000 Arabs who work in over 800 factories spanning 14 industrial parks in industry and agriculture throughout Israeli controlled parts of the West Bank.  Salaries of Arabs working in these factories are more than double the average salary of Palestinians working in the Palestinian controlled areas, and according to a ruling by Israel’s Supreme Court, they are entitled to pension benefits just like Israelis.
  • The Palestinians have benefited tremendously since Israel took over the West Bank in 1967.  From 1967 until the signing of the Oslo Accords, Palestinian life expectancy increased from 56 to 68 years and infant mortality dropped from 13 to 5 deaths for every 1000 infants. Israel’s presence in the West Bank led to a massive overhaul of the infrastructure bringing electricity, sewage and increased amounts of water to Arab towns.
  • Israeli companies with factories in the West Bank have been targeted by the BDS movement, however the Arab workers are the ones who suffer most from these boycotts.  Sodastream was targeted by the BDS because of their West Bank factory, and eventually it moved its factory outside the West Bank.  As a result, almost 600 Palestinian workers were laid off.
  • Judea and Samaria has about one million visitors each year, and more than 80% of the events in the bible happened in the area of Judea and Samaria.